Sunday, November 29, 2015

Dede got Baptised

So because this week is Thanksgiving, P-day is on Thanksgiving. But because the libraries will be closed that day we have time to email a bit today. So I don't have a ton of time. But here are the best parts of this week :) 

We were able to meet with Dede on Wednesday at the Tolbert's home. We taught about Priesthood and Auxiliaries and Eternal Marriage. It was a really good lesson. Dede basically taught us everything! She is such an amazing convert. Saturday was her baptism. It was so great! She was so ready to be baptized and Joel was able to baptize her. It has been fun to watch as the two of them have come closer to each other and to Christ at the same time! Dede is determined that they will be sealed in the Salt Lake temple a year from now. She says they are going to save all the money they were spending on coffee and cigarettes and other not good things so they will have plenty of money to go :) She is amazing!

Sis Hill, Dede, Sis Kelly

Joel, Dede, and Joel's daughter Kayleigh

Filling the font

Tracting this transfer has been a real struggle. Finding time to fit it in and having the determination to do it all. Especially when it is so ineffective here. But this week we did really well and got it done in a decent about of time. One of the last doors we knocked on yesterday a lady in her 20's came to the door. Right away we could tell that she wasn't extremely happy to see us there. She asked what church we were from and then asked if we could tell her who Jesus Christ was to us. Yes! we can! This is what we try to do everyday. We asked if we could say a prayer first and she refused. That set her off on her little speech about how she doesn't believe that we believe in the same Christ. It was a very powerful moment for sister Hill and I. It has been a long time since we both had someone attack our religion. And being two missionaries who had a decent amount of time behind us, could defend this church without any hesitation. The spirit was present as we spoke. And even though what we said could not change her opinion, it strengthened my testimony in the truthfulness of this gospel. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that He is my literal Father. That we lived with Him before this life and we have the opportunity to live with him again. I know that He loves me and is protecting me from the dangers of this world. I know that Jesus Christ is our brother. That he came to earth and died for my sins. I know that His gospel has been brought back in its fullness. And I am so grateful for the experiences that I have here to strengthen my testimony over and over again. 

I love y'all so much and hope you can always feel of the love that God has for you! 

Have a great week! Love, Sister Erika Kelly 

Ready for Christmas


Lookin' Classy for Tracting

These are all over the South

Our car is bossy!

The hidden trailer park of Narnia.  Most of the trailers
were creepy and empty so we left.

Mini Zone Conference

Monday, November 16, 2015

Here Comes the Bride!

Got me some of Dad's cookies from home!!!

Dede and Joel got Married!!!!! Thursday November 12, 2015 was the day they finally got married. Dede didn't want to be with Joel that day so she came and spent all day with us. We went tracting with her and actually had a good time. We met a lady who had three kids and asked us to come back. Sister Hill went back while on exchanges and had a great lesson! There is so much power when you work with members. (Or almost members ha) After tracting in the morning we came back for lunch. Then sister Hill and I had to leave Dede so we could go pick up the decorations. A member let us use the same decorations they used for the "My Favorite Things" activity. We did the ceremony in the Relief Society room so it wasn't huge. We had a table with food and drink, and a second table for the cake. Sister Hill and I both failed at taking any pictures on our camera. But a member was taking pictures of the entire evening and we should be getting those soon. 


Sister Hill got home earlier than me from exchanges and cleaned the apartment.
She is the best!!

When we finished setting up decor we went back and sister Hill did Dede's hair and make up. Sister Hill has her cosmetology license and really knows what she is doing. Dede looked amazing! 
The wedding was at 7. Not a ton of people came, but their family members were there and the members in the ward that knew her came. It is really amazing to see how much support the ward gives her. 

While everyone was eating Sister Hill and I were talking with Bishop. He had interviewed Joel and Dede the previous week and just said what a wonderful woman she is. She has amazing faith and really does want to do what it right. It is always nice to hear that! You know that the things you taught really sunk in. 

Sunday afternoon we met at the church and Dede had her baptism interview. All went well and she will be baptized this Saturday at 4:30. She is so excited and we are so excited for her! 

We were able to meet with Zac twice this past week. We taught him the Plan of Salvation the first time. The spirit was there and it was great to have a member to look to! Investigators trust their friends more then they trust us. The next lesson we reviewed and answered some of the questions he had. We talked about baptisms for the dead, being families in the next life, and how baptism is essential. All really good things! At the end of the lesson, we asked if he had prayed about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. He went on to tell us that he had been praying and then was reading an anti book. He believed that the Lord had lead him to that. And I was so glad Sister Hill was my companion! She very kindly told him that if he wanted to find negative things about the Book of Mormon that he would find them. She told him that she thought it was interesting he turned to a book that spoke negatively about our religion to find out if it was true. We then invited him again to read from the Book of Mormon to see if it was true! I am curious to see what will happen in our next lesson. 

This has been such a wonderful week. I am so grateful for the love and support that y'all give. And I know that this gospel is true. When sister Hill and I found out about France we couldn't stop talking about it. Things in the world are so scary. But this morning during my studies I was reading in Alma 10:22-23. I know that the prayers of the righteous bring great strength and protection. As long as the righteous continue to pray, we will be preserved.

I love y'all! Hope you have a great week :)
Love, Sister Erika Kelly 

Sunday Tradition, minus the rain!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Members are Key!

This past week we were running all over the place! Tuesday we went on exchanges with our sisters in Columbia. Wednesday we were here but didn't get too much done. We had a ton of tracting to do and so we spent most of the day with that. It is so ineffective here. But we do it anyways. 

Thursday and Friday we were in Jackson for MLC. President Olson has now been here for 4 months.. i can't believe it. He has been able to see what he likes and doesn't. So this past MLC that is what we talked about. A lot of good changes will be made in the next few weeks. 

Sis Hill, Sis Kelly

We have all been companions with Sis Hill

Our Zone Leaders, Elder Hatch, Elder Stanford

Elder Beckstrom

Elder Steffenson

President and Sister Olsen with the leadership

Friday night we stopped at Olive Garden for dinner with the Diamondhead sisters. That was fun to be able to relax and enjoy dinner. 

Sis Hill, Sis Kelly, Sis Uffens, Sis Winkel at Olive Garden

Saturday we were on exchanges with our sisters in Hattiesburg. As i was talking with sister Scott we found a lot of things we have in common! She is the one whose dad is good friends with Robb! and then we were talking and she went to Snow and was in the same ward as my team! It was fun to talk about it all with her! 

Sis Kelly, Sis Scott, Sis Arbil, Dede, Sis Hill

Sunday was the best day of the week! Church was great, Dede was there again. She is so great! We love her so much, and she is doing so well.  After church we got lots of details finalized for the wedding, talked with the bishop, and then got to go out with a member. His name is Brother Norton. He had run into a friend, Zack, from high school and after talking about it his friend was interested in meeting with the missionaries. We drove over there and Zack's mom answered the door. She recognized brother Norton and they spoke for a bit. Zack wasn't home but after they talked to each other he was home. We got to know him a bit better and by the time we started the lesson Zack's mom and sister where also in there listening. They are a wonderful family! We had a great lesson about the restoration. Brother Norton had great comments. Zack was so ready and kept saying how he believes that he was reintroduced to Mormon's for a reason. We are meeting with him again on Wednesday in Brother Norton's home. We are really excited to see how it all goes. 

It was raining again on Sunday and we had about an hour of tracting left. After our lesson it was getting darker and colder. We said a prayer that we would be able to finish before it got dark, got out, and started knocking doors. Our first door an older couple let us in and talked to us for the hour we needed. They were really nice but not interested. But it was a huge answer to prayer! 

It's our tradition!  Tracting on Sunday in the Rain!

The wedding is on Thursday! Please pray that all goes well and that Dede and Joel love it! 
I am so grateful for the gospel and the wonderful joy that comes as we live the commandments. 

Love y'all! Sister Kelly 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Busy, Unproductive Week

Week two of the transfer is thankfully over. This past week was full of random things that needed to be done but didn't really pertain to missionary work. So it was rough number wise. Thank goodness the numbers don't determine my eternal salvation! 

I Love America

Tuesday morning we had people come and help us move all our furniture out of the old apartment and into the new one. It is so nice to have it look the way we want it to. After getting everything in and out and placed where we needed, it was lunch time so we took lunch. Everyone else left and then sister Hill and I spent the rest of the day unpacking all of our boxes. We still didn't finish everything that day but we came really close. 

Donuts after Unpacking

That night the Relief Society had an activity, "My Favorite Things." It was a blast!!! Everyone that came had to bring their favorite thing. Depending on how expensive it was depended on how many they brought. Some items everyone got one and other they drew numbers for. It was fun to be able to get to know the ward and enjoy the evening. A lot of people brought sweets. We were soo sweeted out by the end of the night. 

At "My Favorite Things" Activity

We got to see Dede a lot this past week! Thursday we taught her and Joel at the Tolbert's home. The night before, Dede found out that her major wasn't accredited at Southern Miss, where she is attending school. She was really upset, and so they need to move to Louisiana and have her attend LSU.  She was really stressed and didn't know what she was going to do money wise. And our lesson was all about tithing and fasting. It fit so perfectly. And it is always a great lesson when it is in a member's home. There is such a special spirit there. Her and Joel both fasted this past Sunday! It was great. 

Did y'all know that the city can change the day of Halloween? Well they can, and they did here. There was suppose to be a huge storm the night of Halloween and so they changed trick-or-treating to Friday night instead of Saturday. That was great for everyone else but the missionaries. We can't be out past 6 on Halloween.and so just to be safe, we had to come in early both nights. On our way home we were trying to figure out what to do and saw this cute saloon so we stopped and took pictures! It was fun. The rest of that night we went and cleaned out our old apartment completely! 

Saturday morning was our ward Fall Festival. We had it out on someone's property. It was a lot of fun. Lots of good food, Dede got to meet some great members, I saw some youth from the Waveland ward, and we were safe from the rain. 

On the way home the weather got really bad. We went and visited some people and then found out that there was a tornado watch in our area. Soo.. we took precaution and then we found out that it had touched land in Columbia, about 30 minutes away. So we went home packed a bag of stuff we thought we might need and then hid out at the church. It was kind of scary! The sirens went off as we were getting out of the car to go into the church. But everything was okay and it didn't touch land in Oak Grove. The rest of the evening we finished unpacking the apartment! Thank goodness.

Hiding Out in the Church. Scary!

Sunday was interesting. Because of all the craziness that went on we didn't have time to tract so we spent most of the day tracting in the rain again. I am hoping we don't have a repeat of this all transfer. it isn't the most enjoyable thing. 

More Tracting in the Rain

This dog was super friendly as we were tracting.

But we did get things figured out with Dede and Joel. They are going to get married on the 14th of November and then she will be baptized on the 21st! We are going dress shopping with her today. It has been so fun to watch the gospel change both of their lives, and I have only been here for two weeks. The gospel really is powerful! 

I love y'all so much and hope you have a great week!

Love Sister Erika Kelly!